When you try to open a .docx file with Microsoft Word, you may receive the “Microsoft Word isn't your default program for viewing and editing documents” error message. Don’t worry! This post from MiniTool provides some solutions for you.

Some Word users encounter the “Microsoft Word isn't your default program for viewing and editing documents” issue when opening a .docx file. This issue can be found on Windows 10/8/7.  The detailed information is as follows.

the error message

What causes the “Microsoft Word isn't your default program” issue? The following are the possible culprits:

  • Set a different app as the default
  • Windows 10 glitches
  • Allow prompts from Word's settings
  • Corrupted Office installation
  • Conflicting Office installations

Then, let’s see how to fix the “Microsoft Word isn't your default program for viewing and editing documents” issue.

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Fix 1: Disable Word’s Default Program Dialog Box

The first method for you is disabling Word’s default program dialogue box. Follow the guide below:

Step 1: Open Word and go to the File tab.

Step 2: Click Options > General. Scroll down to find and click the Startup options.

Step 3: Uncheck the Tell me if Microsoft Word isn’t the default program for viewing and editing documents option. Click the OK button.

Then, you can check if the “Microsoft Word isn't your default program for viewing and editing documents” issue has been fixed or not.

Fix 2: Check the Default Apps

This issue may also be caused by a glitch that prevents the default application for .docx format from changing automatically after the user has been prompted to do so. Thus, you can check the default apps.

Step 1: Press the Windows + I keys together to open Settings.

Step 2: Go to Apps > Default apps> Set defaults by app.

Step 3: In the list, find your Word application and click it to choose Manage.

choose Manage

Step 4: Then you’ll see a list of file types Word can open. Select Word for all file types it's not the default app.

Fix 3: Repair Microsoft’s Office Installation

Then, you can also try to repair Microsoft’s Office installation.

Step 1: Type Control Panel in the Search box to open it.

Step 2: Then, click Programs and Features.

Step 3: Find and choose Microsoft Office. Then, click the Change icon.

Step 4: Select the Quick Repair or Online Repair button.

Fix 4: Uninstall Old Office Suites

The fourth method for you to get rid of the “Microsoft Word isn't your default program for viewing and editing documents” is uninstalling the old Office Suites.

Step 1: Type Control Panel in the Search box to open it.

Step 2: Then, click Programs and Features.

Step 3: Find the old Office suites. Then, click the uninstall icon. Follow the on-screen steps to uninstall it.

Fix 5: Choose Notepad as the Default and Change Back

If the above methods are not working, you can try to choose Notepad as the default and change the default application back to Word to fix the problem.

Step 1: Right-click the file that you want to open and choose Open with….

Step 2: Select Choose another app > More apps > Notepad.

Step 3: Check the Always use this app box and click the OK button.

Step 4: Then right-click the same file again to select Open with > Choose another app > Word.

choose Notepad as the default

Step 5: Select the Always use this app option again, and click the OK button.

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Final Words

This post introduces 5 ways for you to fix the “Microsoft Word isn't your default program for viewing and editing documents” issue. You can try them one by one.

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